“Okay, well, you’re dead. Which is unusual, because we don’t normally see this much activity in a dead person.” – Dr. Bronson (My Boyfriend’s Back, 1993)
Zombie Dice is a quick push your luck game designed by Steve Jackson, Munchkin maker. Published by Steve Jackson Games, Zombie Dice will accommodate as many players as you wish. I think I’ve played it with 7 and it was fine. The minimum player age is listed as 10, but I think you can play it with kids a lot younger than that. Just make sure the whole zombie thing doesn’t scare them. Most of our games take 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how many players we have.
Zombie Dice comes packaged in a cardboard cup that serves as a dice holder, a set of rules, and 13 custom dice. The dice are black but the symbols are colored in red, yellow, or green. This relates to how easy or difficult the dice are to score. You get 6 green (easy), 4 yellow (medium), and 3 red (hard). The dice are marked with three different symbols. Brains, footprints, and shotgun blasts. Green dice have more brains, while red dice have more shotguns. Brains good. Shotguns bad.
The goal of the game is to eat the most brains. The game ends at the end of a round when a player has accumulated at least 13 brains. On your turn, a player will pull 3 dice unseen out the cup. You then roll those dice and set aside any brains or shotgun blasts. If you choose to stop, you score the number of brains you have, and then pass the dice to the next player. If you choose to continue, take any footprints that were rolled and then pull additional dice unseen out of the cup until you have three dice again, and roll them. If at any time you have accumulated 3 shotgun blasts, then your turn is over. Remember, you don’t score the brains until you decide to stop rolling and pass the dice to the next zombie. Zombie dice was featured in an episode of Tabletop, if you would like to see and example of play.
I picked up Zombie Dice at my FLGS on an impulse buy, and it was well worth the small price. It’s a great push your luck filler that travels well. We take it when we travel, and it’s a good game to take to a pizza parlor. The only thing it’s lacking is a way to keep track of your score. Most people get markers or chips to keep score. There are even some small plastic brains that you can find online. I pulled the brains from my copy of Mmm… Brains, another zombie brain eating dice game. It’s almost worth buying just for those little brains. Almost. The other thing you can do to pimp out your game is to get a black velvet bag to hold the dice. We did that at a Halloween party and I think it made it a little more fun for the kids.
There is an iOS app for Zombie Dice and it’s a lot of fun. You can pass it around while you are waiting in line, or you can just play against the AI zombie. It has the same great illustrations by Alex Fernandez as the real game, and it has awesome zombie sound effects. It’s a little graphic so you might not want to play it with little kids.
I’m interested in what people use to keep track of their scores. It would be neat if you could post a picture on the Gameguythinks Facebook page. Thanks!